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NEW APPLES DON'T FALL FAR...

Flyers newest charges - Lecavalier, Emery and Streit - already talking like Snider

Tuesday, 07.09.2013 / 9:51 PM / News
By Anthony SanFilippo  - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter
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NEW APPLES DON\'T FALL FAR...
PHILADELPHIA -- Ed Snider stood there, hands in his pockets listening to one question after another from the small gathering of media.\r\n\r\nSome asked about Fred Shero, the late, great Flyers coach who finally was getting inducted into the hockey Hall of Fame. Some asked about the Flyers newest charges, whether it was Vincent Lecavalier, Ray Emery or Mark Streit, all of whom were just introduced for the first time in a press conference.\r\n\r\nAnd then one question came. It was rather innocuous. One that one wouldn\u2019t have thought would have garnered much of a tasty quote from the Flyers chairman.\r\n\r\n\u201CHow excited for you for the new season,\u201D the inquisitor asked.

PHILADELPHIA -- Ed Snider stood there, hands in his pockets listening to one question after another from the small gathering of media.

Some asked about Fred Shero, the late, great Flyers coach who finally was getting inducted into the hockey Hall of Fame. Some asked about the Flyers newest charges, whether it was Vincent Lecavalier, Ray Emery or Mark Streit, all of whom were just introduced for the first time in a press conference.

And then one question came. It was rather innocuous. One that one wouldn’t have thought would have garnered much of a tasty quote from the Flyers chairman.

“How excited for you for the new season,” the inquisitor asked.

Like the old E.F. Hutton commercials, when Ed Snider talks, people listen. And when his players talk after him, even if they've been in town for less than a day, they sound the same trumpet as the chairman.

“I’m very excited,” Snider said, almost as if on vocabulary autopilot. But then he stopped himself and cocked his head to the side. You could almost see the light bulb flicker on. It was in that moment, that instant, that pregnant pause that as an observer who has watched Snider talk publicly countless times, that you could sense a memorable answer was brewing.

“I’m excited every year,” Snider said. “But this year is different. This year I’m especially excited. We added three great players without having to give up any of our young players, our prospects or our draft picks. We improved our team and we didn’t have to give up anything to do it. That’s what has me most excited and now we expect to win.”

While Snider certainly meant none of the young corps of players on the roster when he referenced the team not having to give anything up, someone reminded him that he’s spending more than $25 million dollars (albeit over 14 years) to have Ilya Bryzgalov and Danny Briere not play for him anymore.

“Isn’t that a lot of money,” the questioner asked.

At which point, Snider slid his hands back in his pockets, shrugged his shoulders, smiled and said, “We’re all still eating three square ones a day, aren’t we? But, we expect to win now.”

It was classic Snider – telling you that money is no object – but reminding you that if he’s spending that much money he needs a greater return on his investment.

And that message isn’t lost on anyone, not even the new guys.

“That’s one of the things that I really liked about the Flyers that made me want to come here,” said Lecavalier, adorning his new, No. 40 jersey. “This is a hockey town with great fans, great traditions and a commitment to winning every year.

“When I used to come here [with the Tampa Bay Lightning], I hated playing here. It was such a tough arena to play in. The players and the fans always seemed to feed off each other and make it hard on the visiting team. I’m glad I’m on the other side of that now.”

So is Emery, who left the defending Stanley Cup Champions to return to Philadelphia, where he has several great relationships, especially with assistant coach John Paddock, who both coached him and was an executive with the Senators during Emery’s time in Ottawa.

Ditto Mark Streit, who at age 35, said he signed a four-year deal with the Flyers because he wanted what could be his final contract to be with a team who has a shot to win the Stanley Cup.

“Last year in New York [with the Islanders] was nice,” Streit said. “But I knew I wanted to move on and go somewhere where there is a commitment to winning. When they traded me to the Flyers, it was exactly what I was looking for and that’s why I was comfortable with a longer deal.”

Streit said simply playing for the Flyers is a motivation to be as good as he can be, but said he also wants to prove that even though he’s already 35, that he can still play at a high level and excel in the right situation – and the Flyers are just that in his mind.

“I’ve only been in the league eight years,” he said. “I’m in very good shape. I feel really good. I’m not worried about my health this year or next year or the years after that. But, I do want to show people that I can play and that I can play well for the length of my contract. I want to prove it, and if that helps the team be successful, then that’s good too.”

It’s a mindset. It’s a way of life in hockey. And for the Flyers, it’s a state of being. It’s one that starts at the top with Snider and it permeates throughout the whole organization. It’s contagious.

“We’re going to have a very good team,” Streit said. “I’m really excited.”

And with that, he shoved his hands in his pockets and smiled. Seems like even that little bit of Snider rubs off on his newest players right away.

To contact Anthony SanFilippo email asanfilippo@comcast-spectacor.com or follow him on Twitter @AnthonySan37

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Giroux 82 28 58 7 86
J. Voracek 82 23 39 11 62
W. Simmonds 82 29 31 -4 60
S. Hartnell 78 20 32 11 52
M. Streit 82 10 34 3 44
B. Schenn 82 20 21 0 41
M. Read 75 22 18 -4 40
S. Couturier 82 13 26 1 39
V. Lecavalier 69 20 17 -16 37
K. Timonen 77 6 29 5 35
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 33 18 7 .917 2.50
R. Emery 9 12 2 .903 2.96
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